Magnificent Medvedev outclasses Rublev to win Dubai Open title - GulfToday

Magnificent Medvedev outclasses Rublev to win Dubai Open title


Daniil Medvedev poses with his trophy after winning against Andrey Rublev in Dubai. AFP

Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor

Clinching his third title in as many weeks, Daniil Medvedev dismantled defending champion Andrey Rublev in an all-Russian final at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday.

The third seed took just 68 minutes to grab his maiden Dubai title and dash the hopes of his compatriots to become the third back-to-back winner of the event, alongside Djokovic and Roger Federer.

"It is amazing because at the start of the year, it was not perfect. In tennis, when you don't win matches, you have doubts. Now it just feels better," the champion said in his on-court interview.

"I was really happy with these three weeks, and I am looking forward to the next ones."

The world No. 7, who handed top ranked Novak Djokovic his first loss of the 2023 season in the semi-finals on Friday, beat Rublev 6-2, 6-2 to make it three titles in a row after victories in Doha and Rotterdam.

With the victory, the Russian extended his match-winning streak to 14 and secured his 18th tour-level title.

"It was very tactical match. I know Andrey can cause a lot of trouble to everyone on Tour. Every time we play, he tries to make me suffer, and I try to make him suffer. Today I managed to be on top, but the next match could be a different story," he added.

Continuing his red-hot form, the 2021 US Open winner started off perfectly and broke Rublev in the first game of match. On his third appearance, determined to lay hands on the coveted trophy, Medvedev played aggressively from the baseline and pushed his long-time friend on the back foot. Struggling on his serve, the reigning champion had to save two break points at 1-3 before he conceded another at the conclusion of the set, allowing Medvedev to serve for the match at 5-2. He took the first set in 36 minutes.

Early in the second set, Rublev seemed to step up his game as he held for a 2-1 lead. Delivering powerful forehand returns, Medvedev soon got the break at 3-2.

Later, Rublev made errors to gift Medvedev two more break points at 2-4. The two breaks were enough for Medvedev to win the final.

"I have played well this week, had some great matches, but Daniil destroyed me tonight. Three titles in a row, I don’t know how he is doing it, but I have huge respect for him. He’s a real champion, said Rublev.

"He was playing really well today. It's tough to play those players when they serve at 200 mph with that high percentage of the first serve, and you're not making that often.

"His serve was helping him a lot of times. In every game he was winning a lot of points just because of the serve. In my case, maybe I was winning one or two points, and the other eight or seven I have to play rally, long rally. It's tough," he added

Earlier, joining forces for the first time ahead of the tournament, Maxime Cressy and Fabrice Martin made their debut memorable after beating third seed Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara 7-6(2), 6-4, to clinch the doubles crown.

The unseeded American-French pairing made a solid comeback in the opening set after being a break down. Later, they saved both break points they faced in the second set to win the final in one hour and 24 minutes.

Glasspool and Heliovaara, who were chasing their fourth ATP Tour title, and second tournament win of the year after winning the Adelaide Open in January, tried their best after giving their rivals a tough time in the first set but fell short in their efforts.

The Dubai title is Cressy’s first tour-level doubles crown. The 25-year-old lifted his maiden ATP Tour singles title in Newport last year. It is Martin’s eighth tour-level trophy, but first since 2021.

"I’m really happy to win the title. It has been an incredible week; we’ve been really consistent. We just got along right away when we met a few years ago and the first tournament should have been before now. But I’m glad we did finally - our chemistry is through the roof," said Cressy.

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